One of the world's largest solar wafer manufacturing plants will be built near here at the Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone.
China's Comtec Solar will invest RM1.2bil to build the plant at a 40-acre site, which it has just purchased from the state government.
Sinohydro will build the plant, which is scheduled for completion in record time by the end of this year.
"Our Sama Jaya plant in Kuching is going to be one of the world's biggest mono solar wafer manufacturing facilities. We will have an annual production capacity of 1GW of N type mono solar wafer," said Comtec Solar Group chairman John Zhang in his welcoming address here at the formal launch.
At full capacity, the plant will employ 1,300 people. "Among them, more than 80% will be Malaysians, and most of them will hold diplomas as field engineers and technicians."
"Our particular industry is very demanding. We look forward to continuous support from the state agencies to help us execute our project speedily over the important next six months," Zhang said.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said Comtec's entry signified international confidence in Sarawak's economy and the Sama Jaya industrial zone.
The industrial park in 2009 welcomed its first solar ingot and wafer manufacturer MEMC Electronic Materials Inc from the US.
Taib said industries had been attracted to Sarawak shores mainly due to the availability of cheap electricity. "We have advantages compared to other markets because we are among the most cost competitive in Southeast Asia," Taib said.
"Comtec's arrival in Sarawak is to further expand its activities outside of China. To further strengthen its worldwide customer base, keep its leading position, Comtec, thankfully, chose to set up in Sarawak."
Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said Comtec began to engage with the state government late last year.
"At the end of 2012, Comtec Solar began to engage my ministry on its proposed investment. Within a couple of months of negotiations with the state government, the investment was confirmed," Tengah said.
"Among other reasons, we offered attractive invention incentives, and of course, we are part of the business-friendly government of Sarawak."